Tracy Lowy is the founder of Living Rooms – a collection of boutique hotels in London including The Laslett. She talks to iMBARC about the ethos behind Living Rooms, why she chose to open The Laslett in Notting Hill and her thoughts on the recent resurgence of west London.
Why did you found Living Rooms? What is the ethos behind the collection?
In the 90’s I identified a need for an alternative to London’s traditional hotels and conceived the Living Rooms concept, a collection of apartments, suites and residences combining the services of a hotel with the style, comfort and space of a home.
After opening hotels in Mayfair, Little Venice and Marylebone, what inspired you to open your latest addition to the Living Rooms collection, The Laslett, in the heart of Notting Hill?
Notting Hill is surprisingly short of decent places to stay and I felt there was a need for a townhouse hotel to breathe some life back into the area. More home than hotel, it’s inspired by local culture and British style.
Can you tell us a bit about The Laslett’s namesake and how the Notting Hill culture and history have inspired the hotel?
The Hotel is named after Rhaune Laslett a community activist and organiser of the original Notting Hill carnival which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The brief was to create a hotel that was original, that spoke about tradition and modern London all at once and to employ local designers, artists and suppliers from the neighbourhood capturing the energy, spirit and creativity.
Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz around west London, specifically that the area is witnessing the beginning of a resurgence and ‘getting its groove back’. Have you experienced or noticed this shift yourself?
Absolutely! There has been something of a resurgence with a wave of new restaurants, bars and boutiques that are the new hotspots in London. They are drawing the cool creative crowd and a lot of people are transitioning from East to West.
What do you think are the main factors that are contributing to this shift?
The cheap rents of East London were a big part of the appeal but the price gap is starting to even out.
What are your favourite hot spots in west London?
108 Garage (restaurant in a former garage!), The Chipping Forecast (fish & chips), Negozio Classica (Italian wine Bar), Rockins (scarves and accessories), Couverture and The Garbstore (concept store), Le Couilles du Chien (decorative antiques and natural history curiosities), Rellik (vintage store), Print Room (theatre) and Lutyens & Rubinstein (book shop)
How would you describe Notting Hill in three words?
Vibrant, cultural, diverse.
What is your favourite city in the world and why?
Lisbon – it’s brimming with culture, charm and beauty.
Finally, what are your top three essentials that you can’t travel without?
My children, a good book and a pack of Earl grey tea bags.